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By | August 19, 2015

a simpler dress code

Expensive clothes are not necessary for Confirmation. Nearly new will do, or buy practical outfits, says Sue Leonard

LAST month, Pope Francis reflected on the meaning of Confirmation. He said the sacrament unites people with Christ. He didn’t mention the financial implications; or the dress code; but judging from the humility of his ministry, one suspects he would hate families to feel a financial strain.

Confirmation is a rite of passage. Taken in sixth class, before the momentous transition to secondary school, it’s a time to buy an expensive outfit, and to celebrate in style.

But should parents spend a fortune? Suzan Monahan says no. Her daughter, Megan, was buzzing with excitement before the ceremony in Delgany, County Wicklow. But it was the commitment to the church that was most important to her. She had thought about it.

“I didn’t want to be pressured into taking it,” she said. “I wanted to learn what it all meant, before I agreed to it. To me, it’s bigger than First Communion; it’s the next step towards God. I’ll be confirming my belief in him. That’s what it means to me.”

There were no big parties for Megan. She went to the local hotel for a pub style lunch with her family and her godparents; then to a drama group, before a movie in the evening.

“I didn’t get money; just some presents from my family; I had asked for art supplies,” she says. Megan had new clothes for the day; but these were needed anyway. “I hate shopping, and I needed more things for my wardrobe,” she says. “I wanted a dress, at first, but I’ll get much more use out of a skirt and top.” Suzan didn’t splash out on clothes for the big day. “I don’t see the necessity to spend a lot on the day,” she says. “There were seven of us at lunch. It’s a family celebration, and that’s what Megan wanted, too.”

George Jackson is taking his Confirmation in Rathmichael, in March.

He’s looking forward to a relaxed family day, with his mum, dad, grandmother and two older sisters. “They are my joint godmothers,” he says.

His mum, Siobhan Worn, doesn’t see the point in spending a lot of money. “It’s about keeping the child happy,” she says. “I don’t see the point of a party with a bouncy castle. He’s not too bothered. He’s the most relaxed child.”

“For his First Communion, we went to the Titanic Exhibition. It was great fun, and what he wanted. And when his sister, Lisa, was confirmed, she wanted a Chinese takeaway, but she wanted to choose what to have. That made her feel grown up.”

With a month still to go, George isn’t cheap michael kors sure how he wants to spend the day. “Maybe we’ll go bowling,” he says. “Or, perhaps we’ll see a movie.”

Siobhan doesn’t believe in buying clothes for Confirmation. “George already has some good clothes, and he will wear those,” she says.

What will Siobhan wear? “I’m looking at a Jasper Conran twinset I bought 12 years ago for George’s Christening,” she says.

“I’ll wear it with trousers. I buy small amounts of good clothes, and hope they cheap michael kors will last.”

Jacket from Next; handed down from a cousin. Shirt from Next; a gift from his aunt. Jeans by Pull and Bear; a gift from his dad, some time ago. Shoes by Springfield; a Christmas present from his dad.

“I want a good steak meal with chips, onions, mushrooms, and a huge dessert in a restaurant,” he says, “but we haven’t yet decided where.”

Irish celebrities look back on their confirmation day

Rick O’Shea, whose show airs on RT 2 FM was confirmed in 1986. He went to school at Drimnagh Castle in Walkinstown, Dublin.

What it meant: “It didn’t feel like a rite of passage. I just went along with the flow. It was just something that happens in school. I took the pledge. We all did. It was just part of ceremony.”

What he did: “It was a traditional day, being trailed around the family, visiting relatives who slipped me a fiver or a tenner; much like my First Communion. And there was a small party for close relatives. I bought a small portable TV with the money I got.”

What he wore: “I decided to wear a trendy leather jacket instead of the suit I wore for my First Communion. It was a horrific pale grey leather jacket. I wore it with grey trousers. I wouldn’t have been allowed in the church if I’d worn jeans.”

Aoife Hearne, dietician with RT’s Operation Trans cheap michael kors formation, was confirmed in 1990 when at school at the Ursuline Convent in Waterford.

What it meant: “I’m not from an overly religious family. It wasn’t something I chose to do; everyone did it, and there were no non Catholics in my school. But it is a young age to be making such a big commitment. I don’t think the real religious meaning sits with you cheap michael kors at that age.”

What she did: “After the ceremony we went out to dinner, and the woman who stood for me, Joan, came too. She looked after me as a child, when my mother went out to work, and it was lovely to have her there. That made the day special.”

What she wore: “I wore flowery culottes, with a lilac purple jacket. It was horrific. I don’t think I even liked it at the time. I told my mother to burn all the pictures.”